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This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Eight reasons you really can't trust the Tories with the NHS

Huge hidden cuts to hospital budgets, soaring privatisation, and some scary plans to make us pay for healthcare - as voters go to the polls, the consequences of more Tory government could be dire.

The privatising cabal at the heart of our NHS

This isn't a National Health Service - or even a healthcare market. It's a cabal - and it looks something like this.

The 'ninja' NHS privatisers you've never heard of...

Meet the shadowy team at the heart of many of the most controversial NHS privatisations to date, including the Staffordshire deal leaked last week to openDemocracy.

Are the Tories applying a scorched earth strategy to the NHS?

The Tories now seem not to care what we think of their NHS policies. Last election, it was all very different - a new book highlights how promises were made - then broken. 

Fifty shades of tax avoidance, or, what are the bankers doing with our schools and hospitals?

Huge sums that are supposed to fund the National Health Service are finding their way into yet more offshore tax havens, channelled through Private Finance initiative (PFI) projects. 

Doctors - the new political scapegoat?

The NHS staff crisis and an over-reliance on locums are a result of political, 'pro-market' decisions - so why are politicians like Margaret Hodge so keen to blame the doctors themselves for the market they find themselves operating in?

David Cameron, England's NHS, and the tiger in the bathroom

As it becomes impossible to deny the devastation being wreaked on the National Health Service by 2012's Health & Social Care Act, who is really pledging to fix it?

Going, going, gone - the great hospital sell-off?

Many of our precious hospitals are being prepared for handover to private developers - and from PropCo to the Infrastructure Bill, the government is stripping away barriers to this firesale.

Labour NHS plan outrages privatisers

Labour's new plans to reduce private profiteering in the NHS have triggered a vicious counter-attack in the Tory press. Labour must ignore them - and do more to convince campaigners of its intent to protect and restore the NHS. 

Hinchingbrooke - how a disastrous privatisation duped the political class

How did a privatised hospital now rated the worst for caring in England, persuade so many journalists and politicians to hail it as a 'miracle'? Alex Nunns takes a satirical look. 

Dear patient - why your care is getting shattered, not more 'joined up'

Healthcare is fragmenting as a result of changes ministers claim promote 'joined up care', finds a frustrated NHS worker.

Hinchingbrooke - why did England's privatised hospital deal REALLY collapse?

Shocking examples of poor care are the real reason Circle withdrew from running Hinchingbrooke Hospital - they've got their eyes on easier ways to privatise the NHS, anyway.

"The biggest denationalisation of health services ever announced by a health minister"

More hospitals - potentially all of them - will be run outside the NHS as so-called "mutuals", the government announced this week. Nine have already set out down this path but who really benefits from "mutualisation"?

The wrong medicine

The overwhelming weight of evidence suggests market-based reforms are bad for healthcare, finds the latest report by the New Economics Foundation.

The NHS five year forward view - a wish-list for privatisers?

NHS boss Simon Steven's NHS forward plan is an excellent piece of marketing - but a terrible piece of strategy.

Great Western Hospital slams failing PFI contractors - but can it escape?

Disastrous privatisation deals mean failing contractors Carillion have a stranglehold on NHS hospitals, with dangerous results.

"Waste of money" and "poor care" - NHS privatisation failures exposed across the East of England

Hospital inspectors have written to the first 'franchised' NHS hospital warning them of serious concerns. And up the road, the NHS has won the largest single service tender yet - but only after having to waste a million pounds fighting off the private sector.

The first privatised NHS hospital - success or smoke and mirrors?

The first privatised NHS hospital, Circle Hinchingbrooke, is lauded as 'partnership' future by influential figures - but financial instability, deeply unhappy staff, and poor care are highlighted in a new report - and in a damning letter from the regulator today.

Boots loots - what has happened to our friendly high street pharmacist?

Our friendly high street pharmacists are turning into trojan horses for further NHS privatisation.

Liberal Democrats health policy: who is the rebel?

Lib Dem supporters of the NHS have come up with simple, radical suggestions for saving it from privatisation. But the party leadership is trying to suppress their recommendations.

Why do private hospitals want to hide their patient safety records?

In opposition George Osborne criticised the 'endemic culture of secrecy in some private hospitals'. But after 4 years in government, the secrecy persists, even as the NHS itself is opened up to ever more scrutiny.

'Fraud' and 'cover-up' exposed in failing semi-privatised Irish healthcare

Commerce has corrupted healthcare in the Irish semi-privatised insurance-based system. 

My eye - the blurring of Foundation Trusts and private medicine

A disturbing experience at a private hospital exposes the tangled relationship between Foundation Trusts and private business.

Should politicians summer reading lists include 'unthinkable' ideas for the NHS?

Corporate think tanks hope their bravely unthinkable suggestions to "fix" (or kill) the NHS are on politicians' summer reading lists. But why are far more popular and evidenced solutions - like reversing privatisation - so unthinkable to the political class?

We all already own the NHS - the latest 'mutual' spin is about taking it out of our hands

So-called 'John Lewis style mutuals' have been tried in the NHS - and flopped badly. So they want to give this Trojan horse for privatisation and asset-stripping new legs - and teeth.

"Appalling" service by private firm leaves NHS patients without drugs

Healthcare watchdogs and patient groups slam private equity owned 'Healthcare at Home' whose failures are leaving frightened patients waiting for desperately needed drugs.

Yes, Labour should listen to its base

UK Labour's right wing calls on the party to ignore populism when that means blaming bankers or rejecting austerity but accept it when that means scapegoating migrants. What the polls really teach is that Labour's road to power lies to its left.

Labour turn spotlight on GP shortages

Yesterday Miliband pledged a GP appointment for all within 48 hours, today Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham visits inner-city GP practices facing the axe. 

Should Peers be able to vote on health reforms that affect their financial interests?

A new list of Peer's financial interests in healthcare-related companies raises eyebrows again. Is declaring their interests enough, or - like councillors - should they be banned from voting on issues that might affect their financial interests? 

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